Lighting should not be overlooked in a home gym. Lighting helps create energy, enhance mood, support endurance and heighten your performance. The right lighting can make your home gym a welcoming space, which helps ensure it gets used. And the proper electrical supply allows your cardio equipment to run consistently and require less repairs.

The right light

Natural light is ideal. The natural light offered by windows and skylights is more energizing than artificial light. So, whenever possible, exercise equipment should sit close to these light sources. However, home gyms are often in basements, or workout time is at night, so proper artificial light is a must.

Recessed can fixtures are best – they offer sufficient light, yet don’t infringe on head room. Six-inch recessed cans should be laid out so there is one for every 30 square feet of floor space. The light bulbs in these fixtures should have a high Kelvin rating – one rated at or above 5000K. These “daylight” labeled bulbs produce light that is closest to sunlight. Lights placed on a dimmer can reduce brightness for lower-energy workouts such as yoga.

Mirrors add reflected light to your home gym and reduce injury by giving you feedback on your form. In a home gym, mirrors should be 48 inches tall, and be set 18 inches off the floor.

Avoid lamps and florescent lights in your gym. Lamps take up valuable floor space needed for equipment or other fitness programs, such as stretching. Florescent lights emit bright light, but they tend to flicker, potentially causing headaches and fatigue.

The right plug

Ideally, a treadmill, or other piece of cardio equipment, should be plugged into a grounded, 120-volt outlet that is on a dedicated circuit controlled by a 20-amp breaker.

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A dedicated circuit ensures that machine is the only device pulling electricity from that circuit. Light switches are often on the same circuit as the outlets in a single room. Without a dedicated circuit, the demands could overload a shared circuit, causing the breaker to trip, or, if not, causing damage to the components of the machine.

Do not plug an exercise machine into a surge protector. These machines often require an initial surge of current to properly charge capacitors and other components. If this surge is prohibited by a surge protector, it could cause parts of the machine to be burnt or damaged.

Also, do not plug an exercise machine into an extension cord. Extension cords drop voltage along their length. Without the right amount of voltage to run, the machine could overheat.

Make your workout space a place to retreat, a place that energizes you, makes you feel powerful, and then allows you to cool off and unwind. Lighting and the right electrical supply can go a long way in helping you do just that.